The UK solar PV industry is still reeling from the depth and speed of the proposed FiT cuts announced last Monday. Before the dust has had time to settle, proposed projects face a cross-road: either halt the project and wait for the results of the review or fast-track the project in the hope of receiving the FiT as it stands currently.  

Leominster Community Solar has taken the bold decision to proceed with the planned 50kWp installation on Leominster’s sports centre’s roof with the backing of the project’s installer Southern Solar.

Southern Solar has committed to help make the community solar project happen despite the FiT review, fast-tracking the install for completion on November 23. The installer has also offered to bear some risk in the event that the installation fails to be connected before the proposed cut off date. The gesture acts as a measure of Southern Solar’s confidence in registering the system in time and should act as reassurance for nervous investors who would still expect to receive a 3% return if the project should fail to receive the current FiT rate.  

Interest in the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive despite the shadow cast by Monday’s announcement, with 30% of the £150,725 target raised already. The project is still open to all investors and will remain open until December 23 in order to raise the required total.

Ben Whittle, one of the Directors of Leominster Community Solar said, “Despite the rug being pulled from under our feet by the government, just after launching our share issue, we are determined to make this happen. Getting renewable projects like this off the ground takes months of preparation and huge amounts of hard work and good will on behalf of all those involved and we don’t want to see all that come to nothing in Leominster. We hope many more people will follow those who have already shown their wholehearted support for the project to help make this happen”.

The 50kWp array will supply clean solar electricity to the sports centre, saving approximately 22 tonnes of CO2 every year for the duration of the project.